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The Third Generation
The Third Generation
Actors: Eddie Constantine, Hanna Schygulla, Volker Spengler, Margit Carstensen, Harry Baer
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
UR     2006     1hr 45min

Studio: Tango Entertainment Inc Release Date: 07/25/2006


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Movie Details

Actors: Eddie Constantine, Hanna Schygulla, Volker Spengler, Margit Carstensen, Harry Baer
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Creators: Harry Baer, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Juliane Lorenz
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Studio: Tango Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/25/2006
Original Release Date: 09/09/1980
Theatrical Release Date: 09/09/1980
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, French, German
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Fassbinder's critical view of terrorism.
G. Merritt | Boulder, CO | 03/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Terrorism is an idea generated by capitalism to justify better defense measures to safeguard capitalism."--Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

After releasing Ali - Fear Eats the Soul (Angst essen Seele auf) in 1974, critic Vincent Canby of the New York Times recognized Fassbinder as "the most original talent since Godard." In 1979, Fassbinder then went on to make The Third Generation (Die Dritte Generation) in between two of my favorite Fassbinder works, In a Year with 13 Moons (1978) and Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980). The Third Generation is a satirical film about modern culture and terrorism, revealing Fassbinder not only at his artistic best but at his most controversial. The point of his film seems to be that the capitalism invented a "Third Generation" of terrorism to force the West German State to protect it better, a provocative premise that remains relevant in the post-9/11 world. (Upon its theatrical release at a German film festival, outraged audience members reportedly stormed the projection booth and stopped the film.) The first third of the movie depicts a radical, left-wing West German group of subversives, who take a banker (Eddie Constantine) hostage in Berlin to draw attention to their cause. The comedy is then transformed into a dark drama when the group kills the banker in a bungled robbery. Fassbinder seems critical of his anti-capitalist group of subversives (played by Volker Spengler, Raúl Gimenez, Harry Baer, Bulle Ogier, and Hanna Schygulla), who act without any real idealogy, therfore leaving themselves open to manipulation. In his review of this film, Canby writes: "There no longer can be any doubt about it: Rainer Werner Fassbinder is the most dazzling, talented, provocative, original, puzzling, prolific and exhilarating film maker of his generation. Anywhere." Recommended.

G. Merritt"
Good late Fassbinder/bourgeois terrorists...
Thomas Plotkin | West Hartford CT, United States | 07/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Fassbinder takes on the Baader-Meinhoff crew shortly after their demise; in this satirical "thriller" bourgeois nihilists terrorists are in fact unwitting tools of the state security apparatus, who stagemanage the revolutionaries kidnappings and assasinations to justify subsequent erosions of civil liberties. I guess that makes this timely. (Though I will say the rhetoric and delusions of the would-be revolutionaries will sound awfully familiar if you've ever hung around anti-globalisaton/anti-Wal-Mart/anti-free trade G-8 protestor types.)
Icy and mordant, this film is a detour from RWF from his Sirkian tear-jerker mode. Third Generation is more a riff on Godard's La Chinoise, ten years later, where the utopian dreams of the 60's have now degenerated into nihilism and narcissism."
Don't throw bombs, make films....
Grigory's Girl | NYC | 09/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of Fassbinder's last films, and one of his most provocative and controversial. As the other reviewers have noted, this was made during a time when West Germany was dealing with many homegrown terrorist groups, and Fassbinder's films skewers both the left and the right, and sees their so-called political struggle as BS. The tag line for this film (on some posters) was "I don't throw bombs. I make films. RWF.". I love the fact that Fassbinder quoted 2 films in this film, Robert Bresson's The Devil Probably (it's playing on the TV monitor at the beginning of this film), and Tarkovsky's Solaris. The Devil, Probably reference is really potent, as Bresson's film (made in 1977) was tremendously controversial at Cannes and in France. It was about a teenager who pays someone to kill him, and the French government felt that it was glorifying suicide, and attempted (unsuccessfully) to have the film banned.

This film is one of Fassbinder's most interesting films, showing (along with Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven) that political factions are essentially the same in their quest for power, and that only the names change once in a while to keep things interesting. It's nice to see a filmmaker stay clear of politics, as I feel once an artist goes political, they become shrill and myopic in their point of view, and it lessens their art. It also has one of Fassbinder's most audacious soundtracks, with layer and layer of sound (mostly news casts being heard throughout the film) that can confuse the viewer a bit. It's still fascinating, as all Fassbinder's films are."
A highly relevant political comedy
Stalwart Kreinblaster | Xanadu | 01/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"perhaps fassbinder's best (which is saying a lot)... it starts what i consider to be fassbinder's finest period of his career. This is a comedy but not without its share of social commentary, political spoof, and cinematic homage.. Fassbinder unveils the hypocrisy of political movements and the viscious circles that lay beneath the desire for changing things in a revolutionary manner.. Fassbinder clearly identifies with those who want change but uncovers the fundamental absurdities of these political hypocrites.. This is a common Fassbinder theme - realizing a problem but having no way of fixing it without undermining your original intentions.. history in this light is doomed to repeat itself infinitely.. this is one of fassbinder's most brilliant achievements in the realm of social and political commentary.. It is also one of fassbinder's most personal works - this movie and 'in a year with 13 moons' were almost single handedly crafted by fassbinder himself - acting as camera man, director, writer, and co-editor.."